Released: October 6, 2009 (Stax Records)
Current single: Can’t Hardly Wait
Why JSD likes it: N’Dambi is soulful and sassy! Pink Elephant is a perfect blend of classic 70s Soul and today’s Neo-Soul, while creating a sound infusing Gospel, Blues and Jazz elements.
If you like: Angie Stone or Lalah Hathaway you will like N’Dambi
JSD: How did you come up with the title Pink Elephant?
N’Dambi: I wanted to find a title that was eye catching, like eye catching when you read a book. You find a title of a book that is really eye catching and you’re like “Oh, what is that about?” So I wanted something that was more of an interesting conversation. So in coming up with a few things, I came up with Pink Elephant. It has its own definition in general, but I wanted to choose something that I could define what it meant to me. Through it all, Pink Elephant is a take on there being an elephant in the room that people know is there and choose to ignore. Over all for me it means embracing your own personal greatness and allowing yourself to show and be the brightest light you can be in spite of whatever obstacles you may have in your life.
JSD: What was the process like for you, recording Pink Elephant?
N’Dambi: I think I grew a lot making this particular album, Pink Elephant. Some of the skills I had learn from making music before, I was able to refine more and make a little more polished. The process require me to do some writing and re-writing and finding the right producer I felt could capture what it was I wanted to say in the music. Along with working out that particular path with Stax Records, we got what we felt was the best representation of what I wanted to say at that particular moment.
JSD: Who are some of your music influences?
N’Dambi: I have influences like Nina Simone, Isaac Hayes, The Jackson 5, Betty Davis. Just a wide rang of people, just an eclectic mix of stuff. I think when you think of soul music, people put it in one big category, but there are a lot of different variations and sounds that you could choose from. I like to be influenced by a wide variety of music.
JSD: What makes this album different from your previous albums such as A Weird Kind of Wonderful, Little Lost Girl Blues and Turnin’ Up & Co-Signin’?
N’Dambi: The approach. When I did songs on the albums previous, I would experiment with sound and lyric and put down whatever it felt like in the moment and that’s usually would be what the song was. This time I worked really hard to make sure that I had songs that were from a different time, songs that had a very definitive beginning, middle, and end, and songs that you clearly knew where the melody was. There was cleaner production than I have done before, which is a lot more organic.
JSD: Tell us about Can’t Hardly Wait, the first single off of Pink Elephant.
N’Dambi: It’s a fun song even though the message seems as though it is an “in your face” message, I think it was done in an empowering way. Its’ not meant to slight someone. It’s just someone realizing that they’re not at they’re bravest movement and that they need to pick their self up and get to where they need to go, sometimes that means leaving people in the process. It was fun making the song because I didn’t really relate to it in the moment when I made it, but more so it was just a feeling and the melody and melody seem to write the lyrics. It was just one of those fun things. I remember writing it and saying to my friend “Hey, what do you think of this?” and my friend said “Girl, you need to finish the song. I think it’s great!” So I did. When I finished it I felt really good. I just felt like “Whoa!”